It’s Just Too Simple
Read Deuteronomy Chapter 11
Dt 11:26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— 27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; 28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.
Sometimes the simplicity of God’s word slaps us in the face. We are so prone to weigh out the deeper meaning of concepts like grace, mercy, belief, obedience, etc. that we have a tendency to overlook simple ideas. As a child, we are more likely to understand verses like the ones in this passage. The message is often too simple for our adult, mature minds to comprehend. We surely think there is more to the idea of obedience than is written here.
Let’s get back to our childlike understanding of obedience. When we were children we understood that if we obeyed our parents, our lives were less difficult than when we disobeyed – that is, as we consider a normal parent/child relationship. Putting that into terms of our heavenly Father, it is an even more sure thing. God gave the Israelites a very simple and reasonable thought: “If you obey Me, you will be blessed. If you disobey Me, you will suffer.”
These simple truths have played out in my life time after time after time. It’s not that life is a piece of cherry pie when I am following God’s instructions. Life at its best can be one trial followed by another and another. But obedience has its rewards. For example, if I refrain from unholy sexual actions, I have no need to worry about disease. I don’t have to worry about someone discovering my folly and suffering any kind of shame. Therefore, obedience takes away from us some unpleasant possibilities. That’s a blessing.
On the opposite side, my disobedience has caused me great pain and suffering. My mind many times has wandered off into all the what-ifs in regard to the consequences of my actions. I could have saved myself countless hours, even days, of anguish if I had only considered the consequences of my actions before they became reality. I can recount numerous “curses” that I have endured because of my stupid, senseless, willful disobedience.
All of that discussion doesn’t even consider the consequences of God’s blessings and curses. The verses from Deuteronomy actually are promises from God in regard to His actions. God gives real blessings to those who are obedient to Him and He dispenses real curses to those who willfully disobey Him. We see the evidence of that truth all around us. We see millions of men and women around the world living under God’s curses because they do not believe in and follow God and Christ. We have seen God bless our nation because its founders saw the need to seek God. Now we are seeing the ill results happening to our nation because it is turning away from Him, even denying Christ and accepting all “religions” as legitimate. It was never meant to be that way.
In our personal lives, maybe we need to get back to some of the simple truths. On a daily basis, and even many times each day, we make choices. Those choices affect us deeply. Surely there are enough trials and tribulations of life already. Surely we have a desire to refrain from things which will make that life even more difficult. Well, I hope you do, but sometimes I can’t say that I do. I’m pretty dumb sometimes.
Prayer: Lord, if we had brains, we wouldn’t have to think twice. We would always make wise decisions when our enemy places temptation before us. We plead with You, asking that You fill us with Your wisdom and understanding. Give us greater ability to stop and think before we act, and to consult You in prayer at every turn in life. And yet, we also thank You for Your forgiveness. We don’t know why You are so patient, but we would be hopeless without Your mercy.